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Babus pour cold water on Gogoi’s blanket

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  6 Feb 2015 12:00 AM GMT

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, February 5: It is a classic case of government announcements turning out to be mere eye–wash. This instance also shows how bureaucratic red–tapism stifles the implementation of government schemes, as files move endlessly back and forth between departments.

In his 2014–15 budget speech, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had announced a scheme for distribution of blankets to 20,000 poor beneficiaries in each Assembly constituency of the State.

“Rs 50 crore provided for yarn and blankets to be made available to 20,000 poor beneficiaries in each LAC,” point number 127 of the budget highlights stated.

Even though winter is about to depart, the scheme is yet to be rolled out. Thanks to bureaucratic red–tape, there has been an inordite delay in execution of the scheme.

The Handloom & Textiles department is the implementing agency of the scheme. The department had called for tenders on October last. However, there were flaws in the first tendering process, compelling the department to begin the procedure afresh in November. A list of suppliers was compiled after that. The file was then sent to the Fince department for fincial concurrence which was followed by some queries. The file then reached the Planning department which also had its own set of queries.

Even after that, the Handloom & Textiles department reportedly could not take a decision as to how to distribute the blankets through the selected suppliers.

In the meantime, there was a change of guard in the department, with Bismita Gogoi taking over as the new minister. Gogoi, sources said, is uble to devote time to affairs of the department as she is preoccupied with campaigning for the ensuing civic polls in the State.

Now, the Fince department has questioned the Handloom & Textiles department as to why it could not complete the exercise by January 31.

“Even if the suppliers are asked to roll out the scheme now, it will take some 20 days for them to purchase and bring the blankets from Ludhia. Thereafter, they will require about a week’s time to take the blankets to the constituencies,” a source said.

By that time, it will be half way through spring. Will anyone require a blanket then?

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